Recycling means setting aside recyclable materials so they can be collected and then made into new products by manufacturers.
Visit our reducing food waste in schools page for info on:
- Reducing food waste
- Setting up organics collection for food scraps and other compostable materials
Download our Waste Reduction and Recycling Best Practices Guide for schools for resources on reducing waste, reusing, and collecting recyclable materials and organics
Read our school recycling FAQs for answers to common questions.
Program assistance and tools
Assigned program representative
Each school and district participating in the Green Schools Program is assigned a program representative to help you assess your current practices, offer guidance, help you make improvements, and promote your successes.
Indoor recycling bins
The program provides indoor recycling bins as needed, up to:
- a maximum of $250 for any school serving 40% or more free and reduced lunch and for all schools in Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, and Renton school districts
- a maximum of $150 for other schools
King County buys the recycling bins from a vendor and has them delivered to participating schools. Use this container guide to select bins that suit your needs.
See our tips for securing the container liner.
- Recycling stickers
The program provides stickers that can be placed on indoor recycling bins or signs to post above recycling bins.
Calculating your school recycling rate
Use these tools to track your school’s garbage, recycling, and food scrap volumes, and to calculate your school’s estimated recycling rate.
- Download the recycling rate calculation worksheet
- Use our garbage and recycling tracking form to monitor fullness of outdoor recycling and garbage dumpsters. This will help you calculate your school’s recycling rate.
- Use this food scrap assessment before starting an organics collection program. You can use this form to measure the volume and/or weight of your school’s wasted food scraps.
Educational tools and resources
- Communication guide
Learn how to promote waste reduction, recycling, and other conservation practices in your school – and how to conduct regular or ongoing promotion.
- Educational programs
Sign up for King County Solid Waste Division’s free classroom workshops for grades 1 - 12, elementary school assembly program, and online resources.
- Fact vs. Fiction Slides
Game about reducing waste and recycling.
- Waste sorting incentives
Tips for making proper waste sorting fun.
- Recycling kick-off event
Use this guide to plan a successful kick-off event.
- Recycling quiz show questions
Use these questions at a school assembly, in a school lunchroom, or in classrooms.
- How to recycle right
Learn best practices for recycling in King County.
- America Recycles Day
Learn about hosting or participating in a local event.
- US Environmental Protection Agency
Find resources for teaching about the environment.
- Washington State Recycling Association
Fact sheets showing how recycling is connected to climate, energy, water, and the economy.
Sample announcements, emails, and presentation materials
- Sample program participation announcement requesting volunteers
- Sample recycling kick-off announcement promoting a new recycling program
- Sample announcements for established recycling programs to continually promote recycling practices
Ask your principal to send an email to all staff about:
- The school's waste reduction, recycling, and compost collection program
- The school's waste reduction and recycling (no compost collection) program
- Sample end of year email regarding recycling successes and recycling bins at end of school year.
Use this Staff meeting presentations guide to plan a short presentation about waste reduction and recycling practices.
Use this these waste reduction and recycling fast facts for PA announcements, assemblies, and other communication channels to educate staff, students, and families about reducing waste and recycling.
Find guides and resources for Student Green Teams and other groups working on conservation projects.
Use this list of regional recycling, composting, reuse, and garbage facilities to request a tour.
Grant and fundraising opportunities
Recycling, organics, and waste collection services
Recycling, garbage, and organics (food scraps + other compostable materials) collection services
In King County, private companies handle curbside collection of garbage, recycling, and yard waste. Find the waste hauler that operates in your area to set up or adjust your school’s waste collection services.
Cedar Grove Composting
Cedar Grove picks up organics (food scraps and other compostable materials) from schools and businesses. They provide outdoor collection containers, assessments, training, and education.
Learn how to set your school’s collection services to ‘on-call’’ over summer.
Recycling other specific materials
- King County's What do I do with…? website
Find reuse and recycling options for a variety of products and materials.
- Electronics recycling
Find options for recycling computers, monitors, TVs, printers, and more.
- Electronic sustainability – best practices prepared by a high school student
- Download this list of printer cartridge recycling vendors
- Download this list of book reuse and recycling options
- Download this guide for recycling broken or cracked plastic waste bins
- Download this guide for recycling shredded paper (not accepted in home and school bins)